Ever have to ask your dad to use the car when you were in high school? Or for a raise in your allowance in middle school? It can be a very intimidating situation, asking a man for five extra dollars per week so you can maybe take your girlfriend to see Encino Man on its release date (or so I’d imagine).
Now imagine being a professional basketball player and not only is your dad the coach of the team, but he’s also the person who has ultimate control over your multi-million dollar contract negotiation. That was the case for Austin Rivers, whose dad Doc is the president of basketball operations for the Clippers as well as being the coach.
Playing for Doc was one thing, but working out a new three-year, $35 million deal was “weird,” according to Austin.
To be honest, it was weird,” Austin said after the Clippers’ summer league game at Amway Center. “Just because it was so business. People don’t understand from the outside looking in that’s kind of how our relationship is. But it’s different when it’s something like this because now money’s involved. Coaching is simple. He’s always been a coach to me. He’s always been like a coach. He’s never really been — he’s always been a father when he had time to be, I’m not trying to say he’s not a father, but [our] relationship has always been coach/player. And it’s worked out.
The issue for Austin was the unknown status of free agent Kevin Durant. If he decided to sign with the Clippers, that meant Austin and teammate Jamal Crawford would have to find new homes.